tv U.S. Senate Sen. John Cornyn on Kavanaugh Supreme Court Nomination CSPAN October 2, 2018 9:27am-9:50am EDT
rightfully angry. who wouldn't be? that his good name and his family have been dragged through the mud with a campaign of character assassination based on allegations that lack any corroboration. who wouldn't be angry about that, mr. president? their goal posts keep shifting. but their goal hasn't moved an inch, not an inch. the goal's been the same all along. and so, let me make it very clear. the time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close. judge kavanaugh's nomination is out of committee. we are considering it here on the floor and, mr. president, we'll be voting this week. . >> mr. president, after the
tumultuous week just past, after the fireworks during the kavanaugh hearing, the second hearing, i think we all needed a little bit of time to decompress and too digest what exactly happened. i'm, of course, referring to this contentious hearing over the confirmation of judge brett kavanaugh. it was fair and necessary, in my view to hold the hearing because dr. christine ford, against her wishes, as it turned out, was thrust into the national spotlight by her democratic colleagues. once there, we believe she deserved the chance to tell her story. and just as importantly, judge kavanaugh deserved a chance to speak to the american people and to clear his name. i've told people before and i'll say it again, i want to make sure that dr. ford is
treated no worse than my own daughters would be if they found themselves in this unfortunate circumstances or my mother, or my wife. similarly, i think judge kavanaugh should be treated as well as we would want our father, our brother, or our son, or somebody's husband. were they to find themselves in his circumstances. this is really about fairness in the end, a fair process, one that gives everybody a chance to tell their story. but one of the things that makes this so different is that we know that the senators listening to this testimony that many of them, almost half of them throughout the senate had already made up their mind. you know, i had a he -- i'd hate to walk into a
courtroom where the judge and jury made up their mind without hearing from the witnesses. unfortunately, that's the kind of hearing room that judge kavanaugh walked into last week. now we've heard dr. ford's story and we've heard judge kavanaugh's strong and forceful rebuttal. what's so unusual now, and i guess the goal posts seem to shift every day, maybe even every hour. now we're-- some people saying judge kavanaugh's rebuttal and his denial was so forceful, and he was obviously so upset, that that somehow negatively reflects on his judicial temperament and then he's disqualified for trying to defend his good name. but i would defy any member of the senate, frankly, or anybody in the country whose reputation
and way of life was threatened with destruction, whose reputation as a father, as a husband. as a member of the second highest court in the country under similar attack on their reputation and their good name, i would defy anyone not to be angry about that if they believed the allegations against them were completely false. what we found out is there is simply no evidence to corroborate or confirm dr. ford's allegation. we've all heard that the individuals who dr. ford said were present the night of the alleged assault either have no recollection of such a party or say the assault never happened. that includes one of dr. ford's best friends at the time,
lela leland kaiser who says she doesn't remember ever meeting brett kavanaugh and certainly she wasn't present at an event such as dr. forward described. well, this brings us back to the hearing last week. we watched judge kavanaugh defend his personal integrity and his good name in front of the nation. true, he did demonstrate some righteous indignation the way our colleagues across the aisle have handled this confirmation. he became very emotional as he choked back tears, but i must say he wasn't the only one choking back tears during his defense of his good name and reputation. there were many eyes around the room and across the country that were not dry. and he didn't aim his fury at dr. ford, but rather at the atrocious way the claims were sprung on him at the 11th hour,
using an unfair process that violated the rules of the judiciary committee. they were not handled in the normal way, which would have respected the privacy and the desire for confidentiality of dr. ford but at the same time made sure that a good man was not smeared in public by allegations that could not be proven. we know when these-- when dr. ford's allegations were brought to the attention of the judiciary committee back in july, specifically to the ranking member, senator feinstein, she didn't share those with either the fbi, which she ultimately did long after the first hearing, or with the judiciary committee background investigation professional staff. that's the way they should have been handled. and as a matter of fact, dr. ford said that when she heard
that we would have interviewed her in california in a private, confidential setting about her allegations, she said nobody ever told me that. and so she was thrust against her will into this national spotlight and circus-like atmosphere. somebody's not helping dr. ford. somebody is thrusting dr. ford into this position against her desires and express wishes, leaking her letter, which she asked remain confidential. it is unfortunately a pattern that is beginning to develop here. that brings us back to the hearing last week. as i said, we watched the judge defend his integrity in front
of the nation. we know that the allegations of dr. ford were held until the time is right when they could be unveiled and weaponized to inflict the maximum amount of damage. by the look on some of my colleagues faces during the hearing last week, judge kavanaugh struck a nerve. i think they started to realize what these last couple of weeks must have been like for him and his family, his wife, his two daughters, his parents. the girls he coached in basketba basketball. i think that's why the judge felt like he had to forcefully defend his good name and reputation against unproven allegations and who among us would do anything less?
we don't live in a country where once accused of something you're assumed to be guilty. that would be a violation in a court of due process of law, the presumption of innocence, and the requirements that if you're going to make serious allegations against somebody, and in this case, allegations of a crime that you have to meet certain standards. you have to prove it. but here, as we've found out, dr. ford's allegations are not proven. all of the people who could, according to her, substantiate her allegations, said i don't remember anything like that. i was never present at such an event. but that doesn't seem to bother any of our colleagues who had already decided to oppose this nomination. that's one of the things i hate the most about washington d.c.
it's not enough to win an election. it's not enough to win an argument for some people, they want to destroy you. it's an ugly cruel and reckless way to treat another human being. i wish i could say some of my colleagues across the aisle expressed one ounce of remorse and publicly stated, you know, the way we handled this maybe we could have, should have done it a different way. maybe we should have raised the issue much earlier was the normal way of processing such an allegation would be handled, in a way that protected dr. ford and gave her a safe environment to tell her story and be questioned by the bipartisan professional staff who handled background investigations, as well as the fbi. we could have done that in a way that respected dr. ford's
wishes, but we did not because of the way this has been mishandled. so far as i can tell, none of our colleagues across the aisle who have foisted this unfair, embarrassing, disgraceful process on dr. ford and judge kavanaugh, none of them expressed any regret or remorse or offered any apologies. they haven't been willing to admit that their stealth tactics have done damage to one man and his family, to the senate, to the supreme court, and to our national fabric. at the same time, exposing dr. ford to the sort of public scrutiny and spotlight that she asked, she implored senator feinstein, please protect me from that sort of environment. and we could have if it had been handled the right way.
our colleagues across the aisle have simply refused to cooperate at all in the process. this he called for additional supplemental fbi background investigation, but when we tried to question witnesses at the staff level on a bipartisan way, they simply have refused to participate. none of them have said the obvious, which is that's pretty odd that dr. ford's lawyers apparently didn't tell her that investigators volunteered to come to florida to speak with her in private. it's down right strange she didn't know she was being subjected to democratic lawyer and sent off for polygraph investigations instead of being directed to the fbi or to the senate judiciary committee professional staff. our colleagues across the aisle have never questioned their allies' motives were anything
less than perfectly righteous or pointed out the political convenience of any of this. that their assault on one man's integrity is convenience, in other words, that this has been self-serving for our friends across the aisle, who are already committed to oppose the nomination no matter what. none of this, none of this makes it any less callus. now we have agreed and the white house and the fbi agreed to conduct a supplemental background investigation, something that could have been done months ago, should have been done. it will last no more than one week, but it could take less time, too. that's up to the fbi to determine who they believe they should interview for this supplemental background investigation, limited to up to
a week, and based on current and credible accusations. those are the criteria. our colleague from delaware and others during the hearing suggested that this period of time was sufficient. in fact, as we were discussing what was going to happen at the markup on judge kavanaugh's nomination last friday, every single one of the democrats on the senate judiciary committee said, just give the fbi one more week. and that's what is happening. but it won't make any difference. they're not persuadable. they've already made up their mind. but it would not surprise me if at the end of the week they raised their voices which they've already begun to do and move the goal posts. changed their tune, find some fault with the fbi's
investigation or the length of time in which it was conducted. i wouldn't be surprised because that's the way they've conducted themselves since the president announced judge kavanaugh as the nominee. always find reason to delay. ask for something if they're given it, well, that's not enough. so i did not think an additional or supplemental background investigation was necessary. i'm not opposed to the supplemental fbi investigation. what we already know is that the three people who dr. ford said were present, the party have all given sworn statements under pennell penalty of felony saying i don't remember or it didn't happen, not in my presence. they are already under oath and can be prosecuted if they're not telling the truth. i'm not quite sure what the fbi
is supposed to ask them after that. they said didn't happen, or don't remember, or didn't happen, i wasn't there. i'm not sure what else they can really investigate. but i ultimately believe that given the state of the record, i don't believe that the fbi supplemental background investigation will significantly alter the situation we find ourselves in currently. and that situation is this, the allegations we discussed during last week's hearing remain uncorroborated or unproven and if they comment up to the other six fbi bk checks and explicitly denied time and time again by the nominee, if alleged eyewitnesses say they have no recollection of them or say they didn't happen, if they conflict with the accounts of many, many women who knew the nominee to behave honorably in
high school and college, and law school, and as a professional, and countless more women that have known and interacted with judge kavanaugh since, if the timing seems calculated, unusual, and politically motivated and if our democratic colleagues choose not to act on this opportunity when it was much more appropriate than now to do so, then there's simply no reason why we should not move forward, the die is cast and it's been cast for quite a while. a number of our colleagues announced against president trump's nominee for the supreme court before he was even identified. and the dozen or so more shortly after he was identified without the benefit of any of the hearings that the american people have been a party to. and move forward we will, soon because we simply cannot in the united states of america
establish a precedent by which any nominee can be derailed by last minute, unproven accusations. if we do, then why would anyone want to subject themselves to this process? anybody and everybody who's nominated to a senate confirmed position would be subject to this same precedent once set. guilty until you prove your innocence. well, i wasn't there at the time that this was alleged, well, you still have to prove a negative. you say you weren't there, but you still have to prove your innocence. and that's the opposite of what the presumption of innocence called for. that's the opposite of what due process of law called for. that's the opposite of what our constitutional system demands in fairness to everybody involved.
if that precedent were set, which i pray, it will not be set, the only ammunition the opposition would need to shoot down any figure at any time would be innuendo, speculation, suspicion, nothing more. we can't let that happen. we're not going to allow that to happen. and we're not going to set that kind of precedent. it always seems that it's never quite enough to satisfy our colleagues across the aisle, particularly when it comes to the war over judicial confirmations. now, the kavanaugh nomination, it's always more, more and more. set the goal posts, move the goal posts, backtrack from what you've agreed to, all in the
interest of more delays which provide more time for the unproven, uncorroborated smears on the character of the nominee and the more pain and anguish of the family who has to suffer, along with the nominee, and endure these malicious, false, and unproven allegations. where does it end? well, it should end this week. the longer this goes on you'll find more attention seekers, more lawyers who want to see their name in lights or give media interviews, help their business, perhaps, i guess. i think it's completely unfair that judge kavanaugh has made
into a pinata. opponents to this nominee in the media are practically gleeful at taking another whack at him. completely oblivious to what they're putting this good man and his family and friends through. i've always supported judge kavanaugh's nomination, i did when he was nominated to the d.c. court of appeals and i do now because i know him to be an upstanding and well-qualified individual. when i first met him back in the year 2000, as i've mentioned, preparing for an argument before the united states supreme court when i was attorney general, i met brett kavanaugh because he was one of the best lawyers in washington d.c. to help you get prepared to argue a case before the supreme court. but it's not just my experience with brett kavanaugh. everybody who's practiced with
him has said that. condoleezza rice, the former secretary of state who worked with him at the bush white house has said that. other law professors, law clerks have said that. hundreds of women who know him have said that. we know he's got a brilliant legal mind and we know his good work over the last 12 years from the d.c. circuit court of appeals with many cases where he's written the opinion of the court, have been adopted by the supreme court. united states essentially as the law of the land. how do we know he will exercise the kind of care and temperament and fairness that we would expect of a member of the united states supreme court? because he already has. for the last 12 years. he will judge those before him fairly and carefully. judge kavanaugh belongs on the